Ilford Wanderers get revenge on Chelmsford as they look to finish the season strongly
PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 March 2019
Ilford Wanderers picked up a 19-10 victory over fourth-placed Chelmsford to remain sixth in the London 3 Essex table ahead of a weekend off.
The Wanderers saw the visit of the blue boys as an opportunity, not only to avenge the 31-11 loss at Chelmsford, but also to put right the failings of the previous week against third-place Braintree.
It was always going to be a tough ask against a team chasing promotion but Ilford were able to control most of the game, in testing conditions, and achieve their objectives, proving once again that a top four finish is possible.
Playing into a strong, gusting wind, Ilford kept Chelmsford locked in their own half but, echoing parts of last weeks game, couldn’t take the points and the first half was a cagey 0-0 draw at Forest Road.
The second half brought the points as Ilford continued to pressure, a charge down saw the ball cross the line for lock Darren Donavon to dot down.
Chelmsford were slowly working themselves into the game as Ilford made changes but a rampaging run from centre Ryan McCarthy saw him bounce of several defenders before offloading to ever present flanker Lawrence Brown 12-0.
The visitors got one back as their forwards drove over and their own promotion ambitions started to brighten only for Ilford to move back onto the visitors five metre line.
A big scrum for the home side saw powerful No8 Reece Barney crash through the defence to score, sealing the game.
Chelmsford, to their credit came back to score again but it was too little too late as Ilford’s control was complete.
Director of rugby Chris Smith said: “It was possibly our best performance of the season.
“Our half backs controlled things, the forwards drove hard and our defence out wide was spot on.
“Proof once again that we have the talent here.
“We’re starting to plan for next year, eradicating inconsistency is high on the to do list.”
The Wanderers now have a weekend off before returning to action against Canvey Island on Saturday, March, 23.
Smith and his side now only have three games left in the campaign to try securing a top four finish.